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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Twitter v. the real world

Here's a fascinating comparison between support for Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist Khader Adnan on Twitter - which is highly impersonal and cost free - versus actual support on the ground for Adnan in Judea and Samaria.
But as an Al Jazeera report noted, there was a marked difference between the real world and the Twitterverse:
The response to Khader Adnan’s protest within Palestinian society has come very late and without the type of force some might have expected. […] A little over a week ago small protests began in front of Israel’s Ofer Prison, located near the West Bank city of Ramallah. The protests spread to other locales in the occupied territories and abroad, but for the most part have been marginal. Everyone is talking about it, but very few seem willing to show their support by taking to the streets. […]

The lack of action in response to Khader Adnan’s case is indicative of many changes in Palestinian society since the end of the second intifada. The increase in partisanship and political division has eroded general solidarity, even over the once unanimous issue of prisoners. Those who support Fatah may be less likely to rally for a member of Islamic Jihad, such as Khader Adnan. […]Indeed, even Islamic Jihad, the party of Khader Adnan, has failed to bring its people out in support of the hunger striker.
Highlighting an important point, the Al Jazeera report observed:
The exception has been a group of social media activists in Ramallah that have made Khader Adnan their cause célèbre, elevating his profile via networking sites such as Twitter. Over the past four days they have caused variations of his name to trend worldwide on several occasions, no small achievement on a forum that usually gives such honours to celebrity gossip.
This is a fascinating observation given the fact that many news outlets are featuring segments reporting on issues that are “trending” on social networks, and in particular on Twitter. Indeed, it was arguably the successful Twitter campaign staged for Adnan that resulted in plenty of mainstream media coverage.

As this case amply demonstrates, the fact that there was little local mobilization for Adnan was completely inconsequential for the success of the Twitter campaign that portrayed him as the standard bearer of an important Palestinian cause.

Given the ideology of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the group’s insistence on violence as the only means of achieving its goal of an Islamic regime in “all of historic Palestine,” it is easy to see why many Palestinians might be hesitant to throw their enthusiastic support behind a PIJ activist who stages a hunger strike (while making sure he’s getting some vital nutrients in his water) but thinks other Palestinians should volunteer for suicide missions.
In other words, there are an awful lot of 'Palestinians' out there who just want to get on with their lives and couldn't care less about a 'Palestinian state' (although they would be happy to take it if it is offered on a silver platter and offers a western-style democracy - both of which are highly unlikely to happen). Their 'leadership,' on the other hand, continues to go the route of jihad at all costs. This may well be why, despite all the talk of a 'third intifada' since last fall, it has not happened. The average 'Palestinian' is more interested in making a living and raising his children than he is in making himself and/or his family into cannon fodder for the greater good.

All of this leads me to believe that perhaps Prime Minister Netanyahu was onto something when he pushed to help out the 'Palestinian' economy when he took office three years ago. As is the case in most of the world, the better the economy gets, the less interested the ordinary people are in sacrificing 'martyrs' on the altar of an imaginary state.

It's a pity that the Obama administration and the Europeans are so consumed by Jew-hatred that they won't listen to the 'Palestinian' public and insist on supporting the terrorists instead.

Read the whole thing.

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